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E. Why Girls with ADHD Need Careful Diagnosis

Narrator: This is Science Today. The ratio of boys to girls with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is about three to one. Until fairly recently, that ratio was thought to be higher because girls were not getting tested or diagnosed as often as boys. Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, a professor of psychology at the University of California , Berkeley , says that's because boys are more likely than girls to show obvious, outward symptoms.

Hinshaw: Girls are somewhat more prone to show what we call the inattentive type or form of ADHD, where they're not as active, not quite as overtly impulsive. They're suffering in silence with inattention, disorganization, homework failure and so they're not, by definition, as disruptive as boys, so they're not getting referred.

Narrator: Hinshaw says ADHD requires careful diagnosis.

Hinshaw: If we wait too long, the problems are going to intensify. So, how do we span this ground between appropriate psychiatric diagnosis and over-diagnosis? We demand careful assessment. We demand evidence-based treatment.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.